Did Yankees closer Mariano Rivera receive the Most Valuable Player or Lifetime Achievement Award at last night’s All-Star Game?
Either way, I’m fine with it. There wasn’t a clear-cut choice for MVP, though you could argue for Chris Sale or, yes, Adam Jones.
Jones doubled and scored a run, which was plenty in a 3-0 win. Then again, he also struck out twice.
Rivera was a sentimental choice and I’m a sentimental guy.
Did you know that former Orioles shortstop and current MASN analyst Mike Bordick was 6-for-21 with a double, triple, three walks and a .375 OBP against Rivera?
“Too much knee,” FOX analyst Tim McCarver said of the Matt Harvey pitch that hit Robinson Cano in the first inning last night.
“Too much forehead,” he said of his broadcast partner.
OK, not really.
Orioles manager Buck Showalter isn’t interested in reflecting on the first half of the season and breaking down exactly what must be done in the second for his club to return to the playoffs, but reporters kept pressing him to do it anyway.
“There are some things I’m happy with. I am,” he said. “First of all, we’re past the halfway point. I know traditionally that’s what everybody does, but I don’t really... I try to live in the moment, the today. Sorry, I just don’t live in that world.
“It’s pretty obvious. You guys see things we’ve got to get better at and things we’ve done well at. We spend so much time focusing on “got to get better at” that you don’t maintain what you’re good at. If you’re looking for a hook, like last year, we got deeper in the games with out starting pitching. If we continue to do that, we’ll have some fun the rest of the way. If not, it’ll be a challenge. A lot of things feed off that. I don’t care how good you are offensively or defensively. You’re constantly pitching a lot of innings out of your bullpen, you’re not going to like the results.
“If we can stay healthy, I think we’re going to have a chance to be competitive with our rotation. I do. We’ve talked to them and whatever. We’ve got some people in place that could help us if we have a problem. I’m hoping we don’t make a change with our starters. If we can stay healthy, we have a chance to run the same five guys out there for a while. But we know that could change.”
For now, those five starters are Wei-Yin Chen, Miguel Gonzalez, Chris Tillman, Jason Hammel and Scott Feldman - in that order.
“I think if you look at some guys with a track record in the big leagues, whether it be Feldman or Chen or Gonzo now or Tilly now, Hammel now, we’ve got somewhat of an idea of what we can expect there,” Showalter said. “We’ll see if it plays out. What appears on paper doesn’t always follow, good or bad. They may be even better than their track record. Everybody evolves.”
Chris Davis hit his 37th home run on Sunday to tie Reggie Jackson for the most in the American League before the break. Jackson had only 10 in the second half to finish with 47 during the 1969 season.
Jackson spent the 1976 season with the Orioles before signing with the Yankees. He reported late and played in only 134 games. I wonder how many fans remember that he led the majors with a .502 slugging percentage to go with his .277 average, 27 homers and 91 RBIs.
I’ve been ripping umpire Angel Hernandez all season, and I just want to say that ... I will continue to do so.
Remember when he ejected Showalter in Toronto last month after reversing a call on Davis’ strikeout? Showalter wasn’t fined for his tirade. Major League Baseball knew that Hernandez blew it.
How often does that happen?
Josh Stinson has gone from being a prime candidate to come off the Orioles’ 40-man roster to a pitcher whose stock is on the rise.
“There’s competition not only at the major league level, but for the Triple-A rotation,” Showalter said. “When I talked to Josh Stinson about going down there, I told him what was going on with (Jair) Jurrjens, I told him what was going on with where he is in the pecking order. He’s put himself there.
“They’re competing for spots down there, too. It hasn’t always been that way. Hopefully, we passed the last man standing, who’s the next body? It’s, who’s the next talent?”
The Orioles optioned Stinson on July 11 and he started the following night for Norfolk, allowing one run in five innings.
“I was really impressed with Stinson,” Showalter said. “When I talked to him I said, ‘Listen, there’s a spot tomorrow night. They’re playing a night game and they’re pitching a game out of the bullpen. We’re talking about keeping the ball in your hand.’ He said, ‘I’d love to pitch in that game. I’ll be there.’ Got up the next morning, flew to Norfolk and pitched five one-run innings. That’s the type of stuff that gets your attention, OK?
“This guy gets it, so I applaud him for that. Not many people would have done that. Why? I don’t know.”
Norfolk first baseman Conor Jackson remains on the restricted list. He still hasn’t turned in his retirement papers.
Jackson left the country immediately after leaving the Tides. I guess he wanted to travel, and Lehigh Valley didn’t do it for him.
You barely hear anything about Orioles third base coach Bobby Dickerson, which is like an offensive lineman in football. The less, the better. It means they’re doing the job.
Dickerson has been an outstanding replacement for DeMarlo Hale, who left the Orioles to accept a job as bench coach with the Blue Jays. He’s been aggressive, but not foolish. And he’s certainly got Showalter’s respect.
I’ve heard Dickerson praised for being extremely sharp, and he doesn’t put up with any nonsense while coaching the infielders.
One reason why the Orioles called up Norfolk reliever Jairo Asencio was to determine whether he was a bullpen piece going forward or if they needed to increase efforts to acquire a reliever by the non-waiver trade deadline. Look in-house first before venturing outside of it.
Remember this name: Zach Davies. He’s a right-hander at Single-A Frederick, and the Orioles are really impressed with him.
Davies, 20, was selected in the 26th round of the 2011 First-Year Player Draft out of Mesquite High School in Gilbert, Ariz. He’s 5-3 with a 3.35 ERA in 17 starts this year.
One person in the organization said Davies reminds him of Tim Hudson. I’ve heard that Davies can, and I quote, “Dot a gnat’s (butt).”
I guess that means he can locate his fastball. Or he has a really strange hobby.